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Getting started with ICBC

Learn how to get started with driver licensing, auto insurance and insurance claims in B.C.

What is ICBC?

The Insurance Corporation of British Columbia (ICBC) operates the auto insurance system for all of British Columbia. If you are a B.C. resident, ICBC will issue your driver’s licence, and provide you with vehicle insurance coverage and claims support.

In B.C., all vehicles must have Basic ICBC coverage. This ensures every driver has the required insurance coverage for injuries, damage and more. We also provide Enhanced Care to everyone, even if they caused a crash or are not insured by ICBC (like pedestrians and cyclists). Enhanced Care means everyone who is injured will have access to the care they need after a crash or other incident.

If you need a driver's licence, insurance, or help after a crash, we're here to assist you.

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Speak with us in your preferred language

If you would prefer to speak to someone in a language other than English, we can provide free, over-the-phone services in 170 languages.

When you call in, simply say the name of the language you need support in, and we will connect you to a speaker of your preferred language within minutes.

Over-the-phone services are available in multiple languages at any time during our regular contact hours.

Learn more about our language services.


How to contact us

You can contact us online or by phone:

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If you’ve never had a driver’s licence before


If this is your first time getting a driver’s licence, you will have to go through B.C.’s graduated licensing program.

GLP get full licence

Learn more about each step of the program below. Our driver licensing and online appointment booking pages are in English only.

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Once you get your full licence (Class 5), you don’t need to put a sign on your car, and how many people can ride with you will just be limited by your class of licence and vehicle type.

We encourage safe driving practices on B.C. roads. Rules around drinking and driving or using your phone while driving are strictly enforced by police.

Learn more about getting your first licence (English).

You can also call us and request over-the-phone services in your preferred language:

Toll free in B.C., Canada and the U.S.
1-800-950-1498

Lower Mainland of B.C.
604-982-2250

Greater Victoria area
250-978-8300

Other countries
250-978-8300

Hours of operation
Monday to Friday: 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. (PT)
Saturday: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. (PT)
Sunday: Closed (PT)

Moving to B.C. from outside of Canada

If you’re moving to B.C. from another province or country you can continue to drive with your existing driver’s licence for 90 days. After 90 days, you will need to obtain a valid B.C. driver’s licence. If you are from a country that does not have a licence exchange agreement with ICBC, you will also need to take a knowledge test and road test.

90 days to switch to BC DL

Transferring your existing driver’s licence

If you already have a licence from your previous country, here are the steps you should take to exchange it for a B.C. driver’s licence.

Gather proof of your driving experience. The number of years you’ve been driving can affect how much your insurance will cost and which restrictions may apply to your licence. 
To prove your driving experience, you may need:  

  • A current driver’s licence that shows the issue date of your first licence 

  • A driver’s licence history document 

  • A letter from your original licence issuer that shows the date you received your first non-learner driver's licence  

  • For experience in Canada and the U.S. only, electronic records emailed or downloaded from the issuing province or state  

Learn more about proving your driving experience.  

If your documents are not in English, you’ll need to get them translated by an approved ICBC translator.

Make sure you have accepted government ID (English). 

Book an appointment (English) at an ICBC driver licensing office to get started.  

To speak to us in your preferred language, call us by phone and request over-the-phone service in your preferred language.

Learning the traffic rules in B.C.

If you’re a newcomer to Canada or B.C., you might be used to different traffic laws and rules. There are many ways to learn more about traffic rules in B.C.:

Getting auto insurance

Once you have proven your previous driving experience and have a B.C. driver’s licence, your vehicle must be insured by ICBC before you can drive it. Our pages on auto insurance are in English only.

Basic coverage

All vehicles in B.C. must have ICBC Basic Autoplan insurance. This ensures that everyone is protected with the same basic level of coverage for injuries and damage. Learn more about Basic coverage.

You can purchase Basic coverage at any ICBC Autoplan broker. Find an Autoplan broker near you.

Optional coverage

In addition to Basic coverage, you can purchase additional coverage for a better level of protection for your vehicle.

You can purchase optional products and coverage such as:

Optional coverage can be purchased through ICBC or a private auto insurance broker. Learn more about all of ICBC’s insurance products.

To speak to us in your preferred language, call us by phone and request over-the-phone service in your preferred language.

Reporting a claim to ICBC

To access your ICBC insurance coverage after a crash or other incident, you’ll need to report the claim to us.

Before reporting your claim, make sure you have the needed supporting documents available, like your B.C. driver’s licence or B.C. Services Card, your licence plate or policy number, information about the incident like the time and place as well as the plate or policy number of the other vehicles involved. Learn more about the supporting documents you might need (English).

How to report your claim

Report a claim online or by phone, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

To report a claim in your preferred language, call us by phone and request over-the-phone service in your preferred language:

Lower Mainland of B.C.
604-520-8222

Tool free in B.C., Canada and the U.S.
1-800-910-4222

Claims can also be reported through our online claims service (English).



The types of incidents you should report include:

  • A crash or collision involving a vehicle, pedestrian, cyclist or object

  • Injuries caused by crashes or collisions

  • A hit and run (when your vehicle is involved in a crash with an unidentified driver or vehicle)

  • Vandalism or theft of a vehicle

  • Vehicle damage from fire or weather

  • Glass damage

  • Emergency roadside expenses

You do not need to have a driver’s licence or own a vehicle to report a claim. For example, if you were involved in a crash as a passenger, pedestrian or cyclist, you should still report it to us by phone.

The ICBC claims process

Once you’ve reported your claim, ICBC will determine who is responsible for causing the crash and explain to you what coverage you have.

  1. Report your claim.

  2. Your claims representative will advise you of your level of coverage and let you know how to access your benefits.

  3. If you were injured in a crash, Enhanced Care (English) automatically covers your medical treatments for the first 12 weeks. You should start your treatments right away once you have your claim number.

  4. Bring your vehicle to an ICBC repair facility near you (English). If your vehicle isn’t drivable, you might be covered for a temporary rental vehicle or other transportation.

  5. If you were in a crash, we gather information from the involved drivers, witnesses and police reports to determine who was responsible. If you were deemed responsible for the crash, your insurance premiums will likely go up on your next renewal. Sometimes responsibility will be shared among multiple people.

  6. An ICBC repair facility can give you a damage estimate for your vehicle and direct you on next steps. If your vehicle is not repairable, you might be eligible for a payment based on your vehicle’s estimated value.

Learn more about the ICBC claims process (English).

If you were injured in a crash

If you are injured, Enhanced Care provides you with 12 weeks of pre-approved treatments to help you recover. You must report your claim because you will need your claim number for ICBC to be billed for your treatments.

To get the most out of your 12 weeks, you should start treatment right away by bringing your Personal Health Number (PHN) and your ICBC claim number to your health care provider.

Pre-approved treatments include services from:

  • Physiotherapists

  • Chiropractors

  • Registered massage therapists

  • Kinesiologists

  • Psychologists

  • Clinical counsellors

  • Acupuncturists

You may be eligible for additional benefits depending on your injuries and circumstances. Learn more about injury benefits (English).

Preparing for winter driving

If you are not used to driving in the winter months, prepare yourself and your vehicle for winter driving by:

  • Using winter tires

  • Learning driving techniques for icy conditions

  • Planning ahead to avoid routes with particularly bad conditions

  • Slowing down to below the speed limit in poor weather

  • Storing emergency supplies in your vehicle (like a first aid kit, food, warm clothing, battery jumper cables and shovel with a traction mat or sand) in case you get stuck in snow or ice

Learn more about winter driving (English)